Many pilots learned how to fly and surgeons how to make incisions by engaging in some type of “modeling and simulation” program developed by a group of engineers.
But while “modeling and simulation” is now becoming its own profession, in Virginia few schools provide a course of study needed to train and retain these specialized engineers.
This is not a Virginia-specific problem. Old Dominion University is one of only three universities nationwide that provides a Modeling and Simulation graduate program, and it's the ONLY one in the nation with an undergraduate program. John Sokolowski with ODU says these engineers are in high demand, but very few students know it.
The Modeling and Simulation Advisory Council is not only trying to expand the curriculum to other state colleges and universities, but it’s also trying to spur more student interest. Sokolowski says it's relatively easy for students who are already engineering majors to switch majors—and for those who aren't, depending on the major, the student can enroll in a certificate program, which allows them to minor or obtain certification in M&S and apply it to their professions.